Meet Hayley Fogarty, a qualified Naturopath, Corneo Therapist and owner of Solstice Skin – a Naturopathic Skin Clinic in Bondi, Australia.
Hayley is what we call a holistic skin god! She looks for natural alternatives to heal the skin and believes in a long term approach over a quick fix. Result? Blessed, healed, healthy skin for life!
Heard the term Corneotherapy thrown around a bit? But no idea how one differs from your standard skin therapist. Read on to find out what the fuss is all about, what ingredients a corneotherapist likes to stay away from and get some tips on how to decipher a skin care label so you can take charge of your own skin health!
Firstly, what is a corneotherapist? And how are you different to other skin experts
A corneotherapist follows the methodology of Corneotherapy which requires a deeper understanding of the skin and is focussed on the repair and maintenance of the skin barrier defense systems. A corneotherapist's goal is to find the cause of the skin condition and not merely treat symptoms. This philosophy is very aligned with how we treat in naturopathy so the two modalities are complimentary in their philosophy.
What's your favourite skin treatment for ageing skin?
Skin needling!! I may be biased but I think this is one of the most incredible skin treatments. It regenerates the skin and respects and enhances every skin cell and skin system. One session can stimulate collagen production by up to 400x and for 1 - 1.5 years post treatment. It's important to establish the foundations of skin health first by using a customised skincare prescription 6 - 8 weeks prior to needling to ensure the barrier is intact and the skin cells contain all the cofactors for collagen production. I use this time with clients to get them practicing wearing daily SPF too as it's imperative post needling.
What impact does UV rays have on our skin?
UV radiation (which comes from the sun) can cause long-term skin damage such as premature ageing due to the destruction of collagen and elastin fibres leading to structural loss and wrinkles. UV radiation also damages the genetic material (DNA) in the skin cells and if this happens enough over time it can cause cells to defect and start growing out of control which can lead to skin cancers. 99% of skin cancers are caused by UV radiation from the sun or sunbeds.
Your best tips to prevent premature ageing of the skin?
Daily SPF! Rain, hail or shine. 365 days of the year. From the time the sun comes up in the morning to the time the sun goes down we are receiving UV-A (UV-ageing) to our skin.
- Remove harmful ingredients from your skincare routine that accelerate oxidative stress.
- Use a skincare range that supports overall skin health.
- Antioxidants combat oxidative stress and slow the ageing process.
- Good nutrition, 8-9 hours sleep per night, 2L water per day, exercise and managing stress levels.
- A positive mindset. Your skin is always listening to what you're telling it. Learn to love your skin and all the stages/changes it goes through.
What do you look for in an SPF?
- A good quality UV filter that is UV stable. This means when it comes into contact with UV it doesn't cause too much oxidative stress. Zinc oxide is a fantastic stable UV filter!
- A toxic free SPF. Toxic ingredients when combined with UV can wreak havoc on our skin and can do more harm than good.
- An SPF that can be worn daily and sits well under makeup.
Do we need to worry about free radical damage on our skin?
Yes! Free radical damage is happening to our skin continuously and can be exacerbated by sun exposure, toxic skincare, smoking and poor nutrition and lifestyle choices.
What is your skin microbiome? And why is it super important?
A lot of people overlook the fact we have an AMAZING microbiome living on our skin. It's akin to the diversity of microbiomes we have in our gut however on the skin there are different strains of bacteria, yeast and mites. In healthy skin they are all working together in harmony. In a barrier impaired skin the microbiome ecosystem has been disturbed which can lead to acne, dermatitis, eczema, rosacea and inflammation.
What ingredients do you recommend to stay away from to maintain a healthy skin microbiome?
Emulsifiers (PEGS, SLS, cetearth-20), perfumes (parfum, essential oils), preservatives, EDTAs and parabens to name a few!
Any last tips on deciphering a skin care label or knowing what to look out for in your skincare?
1) The first ingredient on the skincare label is what's mostly in that product and the last ingredient is what is least in it.
2) Educate yourself on the main harmful ingredients they use in skincare and choose products that don't contain them.
3) Look for a product that contains 20 ingredients or less.
4) There are online databases that analyse ingredients in products. I use cosmetic analysis with my clients to educate them on their current skincare.
5) Have a consult with a practicing corneotherapist to get a customised skincare prescription that brings your skin back into homeostasis.